When Malcolm X Met Cassius Clay
By Thomas C. Mountain
08 June, 2016
When Malcolm X met Cassius Clay islamaphobia was still a small part of
the white supremacist system openly ruling the USA in the 1960’s.
Cassius was his “slave name” as Muhammed Ali so often proclaimed, but
until Malcolm X found him, he was just another “colored boy fighter”
It was Malcolm X, hanging out with the brash and brilliant Cassius
during the evenings after a days training was over that enlightened
Cassius Clay and brought about his rebirth as Muhammed Ali.
Yet Malcolm X seems to have disappeared from anything to do with
Muhammed Ali, at least from what has been running on the western
media. Revolutionary black nationalism is not something Pax Americana
and its lackeys in the west are about to promote in any way.
When the newly christened Muhammed Ali strode onto the stage as a
Black Muslim representing the pinnacle of “manhood” in professional
sports at the time, boxing heavy weight champion of the world, white
folk in general were bound to get a little crazy. Militantly black and
muslim and this was half a century ago?
The sort of racist islamaphobia that erupted like a burst boil was
such that even in my childhood days in the 1960’s I was aware of
Muhammed Ali and Malcolm X and some really scary “nigger trouble” in
the eyes of most white folk.
Two brilliant personalities, Malcolm X, the fiery agitator, and
Cassius Clay, the fastest heavy weight in history, spent days at a
time together in training camp in the run up to the Sonny Liston
fight. If only they had a mobile phone to record it all back then...?
After knocking Liston out and being declared “The Heavy Weight
Champion of the World” a very young Cassius Clay held a press
conference to announce his conversion to Islam (the Nation of Islam
version) with Malcolm X standing in the background.
Talk about a shot heard round the world, and the white backlash was so
scary that the Honorable Elijah Muhammed of the Nation of Islam forced
brother Malcolm to stay away from the newly born Muhammed Ali to let
things cool off.
White folk were just gettin’ to crazy and Malcolm X was pouring fuel
on the fire to speak, denouncing the apartheid system in the USA in
language that still stops you in your tracks today.
So if you ever wonder where some of the brilliance that sprang forth
from Muhammed Ali’s mouth came from, go back and watch what Malcolm X
was saying and you will have to agree that after Malcolm X met Cassius
Clay the world would never be the same again.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist, living and reporting
from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached on facebook at
thomascmountain, on twitter #thomascmountain or at thomascmountain at
g mail dot com